Welcome, 77 artists, 40 different points of Attica welcomes you by singing Erotokritos an epic romance written at 1713 by Vitsentzos Kornaros

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Greek Anarchist Romanos Continues Hunger Strike, Justice Minister Intransigent

Justice Minister Charalambos Athanasiou announced that there is nothing he can do to grant Nikos Romanos an educational leave from prison and that the only option is for the inmate to complete a distance learning degree from behind bars. Romanos’ parents attacked Athanasiou saying that “in a few days, Greece will be mourning the first death of a political prisoner on hunger strike.” Romanos’ hunger strike enters the 24th day, and despite public outcry, the Justice Ministry does not seem willing to find a solution to the complicated case. The Justice Minister held a press conference to address the issue, where he proposed – once more – a new bill that will give prison inmates the opportunity to attend courses via distance learning, something that the inmate refuses vehemently. And so do his parents: “Educational leaves give the prisoner a chance to get out of prison and reconnect with society. Educational leaves keep education alive, not sanitized, and they are the connection with social environment so that education becomes learning,” said the letter that Romanos’ parents released to the press. “It is unacceptable to propose virtual rights when our son’s hunger strike is real,” it continued. The Minister said that Romanos’ health is not in imminent danger as he has being fed intravenously and that he had made efforts to communicate with the inmate’s parents but had not been able to reach them. The 21-year-old’s parents said that they never received a phone call from Athanasiou. Romanos categorically denied that he received fluids. “It is sad to lie, claiming that Nikos is fed a liquid diet. We demand a medical report issued today, to reveal the truth,” was his parents’ reply in the letter. Speaking on Greek TV this morning, Athanasiou justified the court’s decision to reject the leave, saying that Romanos also faces pending charges of terrorism and that, under the law, a leave has to have the consent of the prosecutor pressing the charges. And the prosecutor did not give his consent. Romanos’ lawyer Frangiskos Ragkousis called the distance learning proposal “repressive” and said that he will take the inmate’s educational leave case to the Supreme Court. He also commented that in the last contact he had with the Gennimatas Hospital’s director, he was notified that Romanos’ immune system is failing and that he is in critical condition.